The most basic reason businesses agree to a change is the realization that their progressive technology solutions are important for their growth. Manual processes and legal systems might be holding them back, causing a bottleneck.

It does not mean that businesses should stay on the innovation bleeding edge, but they should stay relatively updated. Otherwise, businesses lag behind the competition and fail to maximize their employee’s productivity and meet their business goals.

And, when it comes to ERP systems, they are ubiquitous in large companies as well as small to medium enterprises. As more and more businesses worldwide are implementing ERP solutions, ERP software market revenue is expected to reach nearly 43 billion USD dollars.

The Origin of An ERP Transformation

Starting in the beginning of the 1990s, ERP systems have surfaced in the market targeting mainly large complex businesses.

Now, in 2020, a two-tier ERP model, which is a combination of more than one vendor or software, is gaining popularity. Today, ERP programs are designed with a customer-centric approach and tech giants are striving to make them more customer-friendly.

CIOs today prefer agile models over waterfall models to achieve a dynamic business environment. In addition, AI-driven ERP enables a more personalized approach and augments human capabilities that put a direct impact on the company’s performance.

These powerful, complex, and proprietary systems are off-the-shelf programs that require consultants to tailor them based on the company’s unique needs. Sometimes, companies may have to reengineer their business processes to cater to the ERP software modules for streamlining their data flow.

The phenomenal growth of the Internet and computing power brings more challenges for the ERP vendors and the customers. The vendors promise powerful “add-on” modules, embracing collaborative business over the extranet, intranet and the Internet seamlessly. The ERP reengineering is a never-ending process.

ERP customers and vendors need packages that follow open architectures, facilitate easy customization, and provide interchangeable modules.

Rapid ERP Deployment

Ideally, a quick start to ERP is either not advised or not necessary. But, in limited cases, rapid ERP deployment serves as the best approach and delivers the best value.

When businesses need to dramatically change their business process, a Rapid ERP deployment may be an ideal approach. In this project, the discovery process is reduced to only capture important business structure and financial reporting needs.

After a few days, a system architect begins with ERP configurations, which are reviewed by analysts and customer teams to form an agile solution.

In fact, the development phase is also shortened as the business adapts to current software processes. Most of the changes in rapid ERP deployment include only changes to vendor- or customer-facing documents.

Once you start operating the new ERP system, requests and needs for Phase 2 items are made wisly. An educated community of users is less likely to require large-scale customizations weeks or months after the ERP system has been deployed.

Extended ERP

The Internet proliferation has led to tremendous impact on virtually all aspects of the IT sector including ERP systems becoming more “Internet-enabled”. The ability to access systems resources anytime, from anywhere helps ERP vendors extend their legacy ERP systems with newer external business modules.

These modules include supply chain management, sales force automation (SFA), customer relationship management, business intelligence (BI), advanced planning and scheduling (APS), and much more. It results in improved customer satisfaction, expanded distribution channels, increased marketing and sales opportunities, and more cost-effective payment methods.

Oracle’s e-business suite of ERP systems may be one good example of an extended ERP system. Oracle’s FastForward Web Store facilitates application to establish eCommerce stores for handling services and transactions by linking into Oracle’s ERP applications. A company’s ERP and eCommerce applications can share common databases by deploying Oracle Applications 11i that integrates Web sites with ERP back-office applications.

Cloud Computing: Future for ERP Implementations

In 2009, nearly 80% of mid-market businesses prefered to install ERP solutions. But, a 2014 report “Pros and Cons of SaaS ERP” revealed a decline in the willingness of businesses to consider legacy on-premises deployments.

According to the market research firm Aberdeen, best-in-class midmarket organizations are now considering Cloud ERP applications. According to a 2016 report “The Business-Technology Performance Connection for SMBs,” businesses adopt cloud-based ERP implementations to gain benefits, like flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness.

The following figure shows the benefits/differences between cloud-based ERP and on-premise ERP:

When it comes to the future of Cloud ERP, the industry is projected to grow by 8.30% during the 2016-2021 period. The growth comes from an increasing number of SMBs adopting the cloud ERP paradigm.

Advanced Technologies Shaping the ERP Space

Every year brings new innovative capabilities in ERP solutions: module convergence and integration, mobility and Cloud, Advanced functionality, device independence, to name a few.

Machine learning is revolutionizing ERP, and helping companies achieve high automation levels. For instance, robotic process automation (RPA )helps businesses reallocate wasteful human resources to more productive areas. Similarly, AI-enabled chatbots help to reduce operational costs.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices feed data to the applications in the cloud. It makes information such as usage, performance and location easily accessible, making companies identify issues like need of maintenance or locating unused assets.

As businesses accumulate a wealth of data, analytical tools have become even more prominent. Organization carefully analyzes and uses this data to make accurate predictions and comes up with an intelligent approach to business strategy.

Does your company need ERP?

Businesses of all sizes and types can benefit from ERP. Even if your business workflow is already smooth, ERP can deliver greater productivity and cost efficiency.

However, the organizations whose critical business operations are broken that they hinder growth and profitability need ERP the most. ERP programs help these firms create excellent business process management models, enabling them to define best practices, streamlining cross-departmental functions, and formalize activities.

In addition, ERP software programs help businesses who face challenges achieving the Single Source of Truth. For instance, in many companies, revenue data provided by the finance department fails to match the reports generated by the sales department. Such disparities make it complex to assess financial status and forecast cash flow.

ERP systems centralize all back-office information. Every transaction conducted by any department is recorded and managed by a single reliable system.

Thus, it eliminates information conflicts, such as lack of integration across departmental applications.

Summary

Deciding whether you need an ERP solution can be a very challenging decision. It is because this decision involves many aspects that keep changing constantly. By providing you with expert guidance and finding the most important factors, BrainHunch consultants help you choose and implement a futuristic ERP solution.

Being up-to-date on the software vendors is important to a successful ERP project. Partnering with an independent consultant like BrainHunch guarantees that you are working with the up-to-dated ERP knowledge to ensure you find the right product for your business.

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